John C Reilly

Hooked on a feeling! A review of Guardians of the Galaxy

For a pretty long time now, my most anticipated film of the year has been Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel’s final film in Phase II before we head into The Avengers Age of Ultron. This film looks to be Marvel’s biggest gamble to date. The characters are by far the most obscure, well until the post credit scene, but for the most part, some of the most obscure in all of the Marvel library. The hope was that now that we are 12 films in, that Marvel has gained a track record that gives the viewer a trust that’ll send them out to take a chance on the film. I for one hope that you all do take the leap of faith, you will not be disappointed.

Guardians of the Galaxy! The next big Marvel adventure. The film stars an amazing cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Directed James Gunn, the film tells the story of 5 unlikely heroes that find themselves in the middle of a galaxy threatening crises and must come together to save the lives of billions upon billions of people.

The film is a lot of fun to watch. Chris Pratt who plays the main character Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord, is a thief who becomes the de facto leader of the group. He is joined by the assassin adopted daughter of the war lord Thanos, Gamora (Saldana). Along with two bounty hunters, Rocket Raccoon (Cooper) and Groot (Diesel) and a maniac named Drax the Destroyer (Bautista) who is on the hunt for Ronin the Accuser (Pace) for murdering his family. Ronin is joined by Gamora’s adopted sister Nebula (Gillan) in his quest to destroy the planet Xandar and the Nova Corps.

Guardians gets the blockbuster fun done right. You are entertained the entire film. There’s not really a moment in the film that it drags or gets boring. The graphics are also epic. As I watched the movie I kept get the feeling I was watching Star Wars, until I’d get a feeling that it was a Star Trek film. Finally I came to a conclusion that’s really the perfect mix between Star Wars, Star Trek, and a Marvel Film. The soundtrack was awesome as well. Every song takes you back, and flows within the film perfectly. They each give a sense of who Peter Quill is and where he comes from

While the movie is Peter Quill’s story, the show is definitely stolen by a trio of characters. Yes the superstar is obviously Bradley Cooper as Rocket. He brings such personality to the character that you don’t even hear Cooper’s voice. You believe this is the talking Raccoon Marvel has given us. Groot was special case. How was Vin Diesel going to give us substance with only 3 words, “I am Groot”? Well he does it. Not just as comedy relief, but he emotionally connects with us as well. And Bautista as Drax is amazingly a break out star. He’s not a world class thespian be any means, but he is still able to steal the scenes when on camera.

It’s not all perfect though. While the story remains as Peter Quill’s story, he is the most developed character in the film. These characters all have such rich back stories. Most of which we as fans wouldn’t know off the top of our heads. I for one had to look them all up when I heard of the movie. After doing my research I became very excited, yet the film doesn’t give us much on most them. You get some dialog about where they come from, but no real sense of who they are. Gamora especially I would love to see more about. Speaking of, I was amped up all film for the eventual fight between her sister Nebula and her, yet when you finally get it, it’s not all that great. And as for the fights, and action sequences, while the space battles all look phenomenal and are awesome, a lot of fights felt a little too choreographed.

I’m going to give this film a Jeebus score of 4.9 with a bonus of .3 for Rocket, Groot, and Drax. Rounding us out to 5.2, Multiple Viewings Required! Now I’m not going to spoil it, but I am going to go into a little bit about how I felt about the post credit scene. So if you don’t want any information, or anything that could be considered a SPOILER, please skip the rest of this article.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ZONE: Ok, in 2008 Samuel L. Jackson walked out of the shadows after the credits of Iron Man and spoke about the Avengers Initiative. This changed the landscape of the Superhero Genre. Hell the landscape of the all of cinema. The Shared Universe concept was born. After The Incredible Hulk Tony Stark walked into a bar and spoke to General Ross. In 2010 Agent Coulson found a Hammer after the credits. In 2011 Loki controlled Erik Selvig. And at the end of Captain America, Sam Jackson once again walked out of the shadows and told Steve Rogers he needed him to save the world. Then we got a montage of scenes for The Avengers. But then something changed. After the Avengers we got 2 scenes. One including Shawarma. While funny, it was the Thanos one we wanted. We loved it and were ok with Shawarma. But then, Tony Stark had a conversation with Bruce Banner, and we got nothing. And now, we again, get a cheap nothing scene! We know there is Age of Ultron Footage out there, you couldn’t give us anything? No you give us one post credit scene that gives us nothing to look forward to for the next 273 days leading up to Age of Ultron! Nothing to further this amazing universe you have created!? For this, while I originally gave a .5 for a bonus, I am taking away .2! DAMN YOU JAMES GUNN AND KEVIN FIEGE! DAMN YOU!

 

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Tammy

Melissa McCarthy is back playing Melissa McCarthy, this time her name is Tammy. She has brought along Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon as her grandma. Tammy is directed and written by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone. Tammy follows the story of a down on her luck girl who is fired from her job and catches her husband cheating on her. She then embarks on a road trip along with her alcoholic grandmother, while on the road, high jinx ensue, and fun happens, or a lack of fun.

I think it is safe to say that McCarthy has been type cast. And I don’t blame her for it. In the 90’s you saw Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey in film after film. Chris Farley played the same character again and again. And they were golden. Today Vince Vaughn plays himself over and over and over. As do Will Ferrell and John C Reilly. Its a golden opportunity to find what you are good at in comedy and run with it. So seeing Melissa McCarthy play the same character is no surprise. Especially as seeing as she is incredible at it. However maybe its that I’m getting wise to the gag, or over the character but it did not work in Tammy. I hardly ever laughed at the film, other then the spots that happened to be in the trailer.

Speaking of the trailer, they did an excellent job at bait and switch. Giving you a clip and making you believe this was the film you were seeing, not a road trip find yourself kind of film. The sad part is that the scene from the trailer, is by far the best part of the film. More of that and maybe this wouldn’t of been such a train wreck. I say that, but the plot was, well no where to be seen. I mean there is a general outline of what the movie is about, but no real plot. Its not necessarily a road trip film, and its not a rom com, even though there is a very low level basic love interest thrust into the film, that you won’t even realize is happening.

The shimmer of light in the film is the one and only Susan Sarandon. As well as Kathy Bates. The two, almost phoning it in, are still on top of the game. Bates plays Sarandon’s lesbian cousin, and the two make for some pretty ok comedy. Sarandon’s grandma Pearl, is an alcoholic who is very wild to say the least. She is tired of sitting at home and see hers grand daughters trip as a way out. Bates’ makes for the voice of reason and sets up one of the best, and only heartfelt moments in the film. Sandra Oh shows up in the film as Bates’ girlfriend, and is a fun little part.

All in all the film is pretty forgettable. I gave Tammy a Jeebus score of 1.5, with a .2 bonus for a surprise cameo for Tammy’s father, that I won’t ruin in case you want to actually see the film, bringing the score to a whopping 1.7. You’ll see this a lot on FX, they have the movies……